The Elderly Kind of Blues

Seniors & Mental Health

Mental health is widely considered a new age concept, which is obscure to many members of the aging populations. Older generations ignored mental health issues and were more likely to address physical ailments. In regards to uncomfortable feelings, words such as “melancholy” were likely used to instead of “depression.” Older generations are more likely to express physical versus mental complaints. The avoidance of addressing mental health issues is linked to the extreme stigmatization of mental illness in previous decades. Unfortunately, the ongoing neglect of mental health problems becomes a habit transmitted to younger generations. Children of the aging populations often become caretakers and key advocates for their elder’s well-being, but find themselves covering all the basis of their parent’s health and well-being except mental health. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, more than two million Americans above the age 65 suffer from some form of depression. The elderly population is one of the most vulnerable populations to developing depression due to the experience of significant losses related to death, physical ability, and independence. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, in the United States, less than 5% of older adults living in the community show signs of depression, the percentage rises to over 13% among those who require home health care. Considering the extreme risk and vulnerability of the elderly population choosing home care that addresses the well-being of the whole person is essential. Holistic home-care is a new era approach to senior care that tailors care to enhance one’s social, emotional and physical well-being. Finding senior care that treats the whole person can be like searching for a needle in a haystack in major metropolitan areas such as Washington, DC.  This article will discuss the manifestation of depression among the elderly and the benefits of holistic care.Senior-Care-in-Washington-DC

Aging & Depression

It is common for people to experience depression at various points in their life in response to negative life events such as ended relationships, financial hardship, and interpersonal conflict. However, clinical depression manifest in mood and physical symptoms. Research shows that older adults are more likely to label their “down feelings” as pessimism or helplessness versus depression. Additionally, older versus young adults are less likely to endorse statements related to “feeling down” or “blue.” Older adults commonly display withdraw, less communication, increased sleeping, expressionlessness, and bodily neglect. In older adults, physical symptoms often accompany depression including, coronary heart disease, dementia, diabetes, hyperthyroidism, and cancer. Life events related to loss of loved ones and independence can exacerbate these symptoms. Unlike younger adults, older adults often lose their ability to engage in coping behaviors such as exercise, outings with friends, and travel to alleviate mental and physical symptoms. These circumstances leave older adults not only at greater risk of developing severe depression but little means to mitigate the suffering.

Senior Care & Depression

Nursing home residents and older adults with chronic illness are at greater risk of developing depression. This risk is due in large part to the lack of quality care available in nursing facilities with an unbalanced caregiver to resident ratios. This imbalance diminishes the amount of emotional, social, and physical support available to clients. Many nursing home facilities plan rigorously to design communities that cultivate social and physical well-being, only to find that a large percentage of residents don’t adequately utilize all that the facility has to offer. This underutilization is mainly due to physical and mental declines that limit their access and interest. Senior care facilities in major metropolitan cities such as Washington, DC find themselves overwhelmed and falling short of providing quality care as their mission statements often promise, due to understaffing and short-sighted approaches.

Holistic Care

Holistic care is a growing approach adopted by senior care providers in efforts to improve the quality of life of the aging population. Through this approach, caregivers are trained to assess and address the social, emotional, physical, and in some cases spiritual needs of the client.  Many nursing home facilities have begun to adopt the holistic approach to senior care. However, like any other service industry, quantity often reduces quality. Philia is a home-care agency that adopts the holistic approach to senior care offered only on a 1:1 basis to ensure quality. In addition to assisting with ADL’s, caregivers are trained to incorporate nutritional meal preparation, tailored exercise regimen, activity engagement, and emotional support. Each client’s care plan is designed to enhance their quality of life and well-being in oppose to maintain their present state of health. Holistically trained caregivers are trained to recognize the signs of depression specific to older adults and implement interventions that treat the physical, social, and emotional manifestations. The mind and body are interconnected, each impacting the other dynamically throughout one’s life. Quality senior care addresses both physical and psychological aspects of a person, recognizing that this is the key to total well-being.


Cavanaugh, J., & Blanchard-Fields, F. (2014). Adult development and aging. Nelson Education.

Friedhoff, A. J., Ballenger, J., Bellack, A. S., Carpenter, W. T., Chui, H. C., Dobrof, R., & Merikangas, K. R. (1992). Diagnosis and treatment of depression in late life. JAMA268(8), 1018-1024.

Zarit, S. H., & Zarit, J. M. (2012). Mental disorders in older adults: Fundamentals of assessment and treatment. Guilford Press.

Spring Cleaning and Organization In The Washington DC Area

It’s that time of the year again to start thinking about spring cleaning, which likely means some serious decluttering, reorganization, scrubbing and polishing. Spring is the time that we all begin thinking about cleaning and organizing our homes. Whether you love it or hate it, there’s no denying that a good spring cleaning is a worthwhile exercise.


But did you know that it can also benefit your health and wellbeing? Below are some reasons why clearing out those closets and grabbing the polish can actually good for you. Let the cleaning commence!

In the Washington, D.C area, many residents lead busy schedules that prevent them from routine spring cleaning as other responsibilities become prioritized in the “to-do-list”. Spring Cleaning can increase productivity. Making the effort to declutter and organize your home or office can save you tons of time looking for or replacing lost items in the future. Organization makes you more productive, while the cleaning process itself can increase energy levels. We all need to learn to let go. If you haven’t used something since the last spring clean, it might be time to say goodbye. Cleaning can be a great way for Senior Care professionals to get clients active and engaged.

Spring cleaning is also healthy. Many elderly individuals struggle with allergies but already take a slew of medications leaving little room for allergy medication. A good spring clean can help you avoid allergy symptoms and lower Asthma attacks. Removing allergens from the home can make you feel healthier, especially at a time when allergies are rife. You want to try to get those hard to reach places too where dust build up. Make sure though to ask for help moving big pieces of furniture or climbing up ladders when going for those hard-to-reach spots.


Spring cleaning can make you happy. Taking the time to thoroughly clean and maintain a tidy home makes people happier, studies have shown. The act of cleaning provides a sense of satisfaction, which in turn can put you in a good mood. Also, putting on some of your favorite music while cleaning can make it even more fun!

Spring cleaning can help to reduce stress. Cleaning and organizing your personal spaces lets you enjoy a tidier and more organized environment and this can relieve stress. Levels of stress can also be reduced during the act itself as cleaning is considered to be therapeutic. But make sure to always be realistic. If it’s all getting too much, take a break. It’s not a race after all.


Lastly, Spring leaning can help you to focus. Those who make a point of clearing out the clutter once in a while are able to free up the brain for more essential decision-making, according to a study carried out by the founder of America’s Anxiety Disorder Center. A thorough clean helps to clear your mind of things that need to be done around the house and makes it easier to focus on other more important things. You should concentrate though on one room at a time to make sure you get the job done properly

What You Should Know About World Psoriasis Day

Senior Care in Silver Spring MD

October 29 is World Psoriasis Day. As a family caregiver this is the ideal opportunity for you to learn more about this condition and how you Senior-Care-in-Silver-Spring-MDcan help your senior cope with it as they age in place.


Some things that you should know about World Psoriasis Day include:

  • Psoriasis is the most common autoimmune disease throughout the United States
  • Approximately 7.5 million people throughout the United States are currently dealing with psoriasis
  • This number accounts for around 2.2 percent of the total population of the United States
  • According to research by the World Psoriasis Day consortium, approximately 125 million people throughout the world are currently dealing with psoriasis
  • This number accounts for approximately 2 to 3 percent of the total population of the world
  • Around 10 to 30 percent of people who are suffering from psoriasis will also develop a condition referred to as psoriatic arthritis
  • Blacks experience psoriasis at a rate of approximately 1.3 percent
  • Whites experience psoriasis at a rate of approximately 2.5 percent
  • When surveyed, approximately 60 percent of those suffering from psoriasis state that this condition is a serious problem in their day-to-day life
  • When surveyed, approximately 40 percent of those suffering from psoriatic arthritis state that this condition is a serious problem in their day-to-day life
  • Psoriasis is thought to have a more serious negative impact on the quality of life of women who are dealing with the condition
  • Though psoriasis tends to develop between the ages of 15 and 25, it can and does develop at any stage in life
  • Though psoriatic arthritis tends to develop between the ages of 30 and 50, it can and does develop at any stage in life
  • Mild psoriasis is defined as impacting less than 3 percent of the total area of the body
  • Moderate psoriasis is defined as impacting 3 to 10 percent of the total area of the body
  • Severe psoriasis is defined as impacting more than 10 percent of the total area of the body
  • Approximately 25 percent of those who are suffering from psoriasis throughout the United States suffer from either moderate to severe psoriasis.


Starting senior care for your elderly parent can be a fantastic way to help them maintain their quality of life even as they are dealing with health challenges throughout their later years. A senior home care services provider can be with your aging parent on a schedule that is right for their needs to provide a personalized set of services tailored to their individual challenges, limitations, and need. This means that they will receive the care, support, encouragement, and help that they need to address these issues in a way that respects their personality, thoughts, beliefs, and goals. You can feel confident knowing that whatever your parent is facing, the personalized care of a senior care provider will ensure that they have everything that they need to stay active, independent, and engaged in the world around them as they age in place.


If you or an aging loved one are considering SENIOR CARE IN SILVER SPRING, MD, please call the friendly staff at Philia Care today at 202-607-2525.



How to Keep Your Elderly Loved One Safe During Hot Weather

Senior Care in Silver Spring MDSenior-Care-in-Silver-Spring-MD


Summer is full of activities that everyone loves to participate in, but it’s also a time that can be dangerous for your elderly loved one if she’s not able to stay cool. Problems ranging from simple overheating to heat stroke can be a huge concern. Here are some ways to keep your loved one safe and cool.


Stay Inside Air-conditioned Areas if Possible

Whenever possible, keep your elderly loved one out of the heat of day. Spending time outside is great in the morning or the evening, when it’s much cooler. During the rest of the day, stick to air-conditioned locations. Ceiling fans can also help to circulate the cool air through the house so that your loved one can actually turn the air conditioning up a little bit. If you’re not sure what temperature your loved one’s home is during the day, invest in a small indoor thermometer that can measure temperature and humidity levels so you know the exact temperature.


Wear Lighter, Looser Clothing

Looser clothing that is lightweight and light in color can help your loved one to stay cooler. Opt for natural materials, such as cotton, so that your loved one’s skin can breathe more easily. If your loved one does go out, consider longer pants and longer sleeves to protect her from the sun. A big floppy hat and sunglasses help to protect the rest of her.


Up Her Water Intake

Water is incredibly important all the time, but especially during hot weather. Even if your loved one is drinking a good bit of water already, she may need to add a couple of extra glasses during hot weather. Try carrying around insulated water bottles that can keep the water cooler for longer periods of time. Cooler water is easier to drink and can feel more quenching when your loved one is thirsty.


Avoid Strenuous Activities

Any types of activities that can cause your loved one to sweat can be too much during already warm weather. Save exercising for indoors so that your loved one can stay cooler. If your loved one enjoys outdoor activities like gardening, try to help her do those things during the times of day that are much cooler.

Talk to your loved one’s senior care providers about other ways you can keep her cooler during the hot weather months.


If you or an aging loved one are considering SENIOR CARE IN SILVER SPRING, MD, please call the friendly staff at Philia Care today at 202-607-2525.